Monday, December 9, 2013

Can't Believe It's Not Carbs!

As the semester is coming to a close, all of you faithful Meatless Monday munchers hopefully have your meatless routine down pat. But we all know there is always enough room for another creative meatless dish at your dinner table! I've been experimenting a lot with low-carb, meatless dishes and have been met with some failures and but more importantly, some great successes. I'm here to share with you those recipes that have turned my Meatless Monday meals into the most delicious and satisfying meals of the week! All of these recipes have been tested and tried by yours truly. I can guarantee that these dishes will add a unique twist to your weekly menu, and the best part is they are meatless AND gluten free! Skip the carbs this Monday, and try one of these meatless meals:

Cauliflower Pizza  You'll never go back to a regular dough pizza after trying this!

- 2 cups finely chopped cauliflowers
- 1/4 (heaping) cup hummus - I recommend garlic hummus!
- 3/4 (heaping) cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup egg white
- 1 tsp. oregano
- Pizza toppings of your choice (cheese, veggies, sauce, etc.)

- Preheat oven to 450
- Finely chop the cauliflower until you have 2 cups worth
- Cook the cauliflower by steaming it, or putting it in the microwave for around 8 minutes. Cauliflower is done when is turns translucent.
- In a food processor, combine your hummus, cheese, egg and oregano until smooth.
- In a bowl, mix the cooked cauliflower with the blended ingredients. The mixture will be slightly runny.
- Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and then thinly spread the mixture on the parchment paper. If you do not have parchment paper, you can grease the cookie sheet (the pizza may stick to the pan a little if you do it this way - but nothing too bad).
- Bake the crust for 25-35 minutes. The top should be golden. When poked with a fork, the crust should be somewhat soft, but not gooey.
- Take the crust out, and top it with your ingredients.
- Broil the fully topped pizza for a few minutes, until the your cheese is melted, and the crust is crispy on the edges.
- Enjoy! This recipe will make a large sized personal pizza.

Spaghetti Squash   Craving spaghetti, but not the carbs? This meal will fill you up just as much as a regular pasta dish!

- Spaghetti Squash
- Olive Oil
- Pasta sauce of your choice
- Salt/Pepper to taste

1. Slice the Spaghetti Squash in half (long ways).
2. With a spoon, clean out all the seeds and strings from the middle of the squash halves.
2. Pour a little olive oil and salt/pepper on the inside of each of the cleaned out halves of the squash.
3. Cook the squash either in the oven at 425 for 30-45 minutes, or in the microwave for around 20 minutes. Check the squash continually with a fork. When the insides of the squash easily fall off from the edges, the squash is done.
4. With a spoon, scoop out the insides of the cooked squash and place them on a serving dish.
5. Warm up your pasta sauce and poor on top of the hot squash.
6. Add cheese if you prefer, and enjoy! Depending on the size of the squash, this will feed 2-3 people.

Spinach Bread   Wish there was a way to have your sandwich, but without the starchy bread? Look no further!

- 4 large eggs
- 16 oz frozen spinach
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- Small bunch of basil (about 15 leaves)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Defrost spinach
3. Melt better over low heat, then add pine nuts and garlic. Toast them until golden brown.
4. Place the toasted nuts in a food processor with the basil leaves and pulse until pine nuts are broken up, but do not pulse the mixture smooth.
5. Add spinach and salt and pulse for ten seconds.
6. Stir in eggs
7. Scrape the combined mixture into a buttered pie pan or 7x11 baking dish.
8. Bake 20-30 minutes, until set. Let cool and enjoy!

Happy carb-less, gluten-free, Meatless Monday!
- Jackie

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